10 Movie Franchises That Could Use a Reboot (And How to Make Them Better The Second Time)

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10 Movie Franchises In Need of a Reboot

Call it what you want: reboot, re-imagining, re-invention, or even “untold story”. It all amounts to the same thing: a do-over. As Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” proves, sometimes a franchise has simply run its course, and the only thing left is to start all over again from the beginning. “The Amazing Spider-Man” tried to sell it as an “untold story”, but let’s be frank, it’s basically the same story with a new element that, in the larger scheme of things, doesn’t even matter all that much. Which led me to wonder: what other franchises out there is in dire need of a do-over?

Here are our suggestions for 10 franchises that a reboot would give just the shot-in-the-arm it needs.

In no particular order…

1. THE PUNISHER

The Punisher Comic Book

Why Reboot It? Now you might be saying to yourself: “What? The Punisher … AGAIN?” You’re damn right The Punisher … again. Call it a personal fanboy thing if you must. The Punisher has always been the one character that I couldn’t go a week without buying back in my comic book reading days. He was my “in” to the Marvel Universe, what with all their flying superhero do-gooders and whatnot. The Punisher was human — but just slightly more than human. Batman, if you will, without the gazillion bucks. And that whole “not killing” thing.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Microchip. The Punisher’s weaponsmaster, best friend, and all-around guardian angel. I don’t mean as a throwaway background character, either. For a new Punisher movie to work, Microchip has to be in it. I mean, right there, side-by-side with The Punisher as they dispense justice on a bloody scale. In fact, it might work to introduce the world of The Punisher through the eyes of Microchip. That hasn’t been done before. Go low-tech with it. Microchip in a dank basement sweating over The Punisher’s toys. Hunkered in his beat-up, but ready-for-battle war van. We’ve tried to approach a “Punisher” movie through the main man’s eyes three times already. It’s time to change it up.


2. FLASH GORDON

Flash Gordon Comic Book

Why Reboot It? Why not? Especially since no one has done a decent “Flash Gordon” interpretation yet, whether on the big screen or on the small screen. The character is world-famous, with brand name recognition out the wazoo. Granted, much of that recognition is of the silly variety, thanks to the 1980 movie, the last time Hollywood took a shot at the character. As a result, Flash Gordon is wide open to be “re-imagined” as an intergalactic space hero. A cool, intergalactic space hero.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Avoid the jock background at all cost. I know, that’s part of the character’s charm. Well you know what? That charm has resulted in some pretty lousy movies and a pretty lousy TV show. Who says Flash Gordon has to be some blonde Aryan looking dude? Why not a space pirate? An intergalactic bounty hunter? Someone with charm, with verve, with actual personality. You don’t necessarily have to go dark and gritty with this one. With today’s special effects, a space movie starring a recognizable hero could make a killing. Just don’t, you know, drop him on Mars where everything is all brown and boring and whatnot. Get creative and don’t stick so closely to the source material that the film can’t breathe. What worked then doesn’t always work now. Ask Andrew Stanton.


3. THE LOST BOYS

The Lost Boys (1987) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? Haven’t you heard? Vampires are in. And it’s not like the franchise could possibly get any worst, with the last two entries going direct-to-DVD and starring, of all people, Corey Feldman. Let’s face it: when your film hinges on the starring power of Corey Friggin Feldman, you’ve already lost. The original “The Lost Boys” remains the best in the series, but even it could have used some updating. This was a franchise that always worked best when it was about outsider teenagers free from adult constraints. And that just happens to sell pretty well in today’s market, too.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Vampires + outsiders = today’s social network obsessed teenagers. In a time when everyone is on Twitter and Facebooking and Youtubing themselves doing life’s most mundane tasks, how do you incorporate vampires into that new reality? Obviously the screenwriter who comes up with a way to do that should get paid big bucks. If someone wants to pay me to think up an angle, I’m more than willing. You know how to reach me.


4. SPAWN

Michael Jai White in Spawn (1997) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? Because if not for the recent release of “Spawn” on Blu-ray, I wouldn’t have come up with the idea for this article. So, thanks, Spawn! Plus, Spawn is a cool character. Anyone who has read the Todd McFarlane comic books know this. Hell, even the HBO animated show that followed the 1997 movie was all kinds of rad. The character has it in him to be Batman with a supernatural element. In the right hands, this movie could be a spooky horror movie — except the monster, this time around, is the good guy.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: As long as the filmmakers keep repeating this mantra to themselves: “It’s a horror movie — except the monster is the good guy” — a rebooted “Spawn” movie could be something really special. A “Cabin in the Woods”-type of twist on the genre, if you will. Of course, for this to really work, you’d need Todd McFarlane to maintain total control over the production. No more PG-13 nonsense ala the 1997 movie. Go hard R or go home. Spawn needs to chain-whip bitches bloody.


5. DELTA FORCE

Chuck Norris in Delta Force (1986) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? This is a no-brainer, especially in a post-Osama world. America’s elite military services are constantly in the news and on the big screen, but it seems like the SEALs are the only ones getting the love. Which would make a rebooted “Delta Force” franchise a perfect change of pace — you still get the hardcore military action, but also get an inside look at another uber secret service branch. More of the same, but with just the right amount of newness.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Obviously you can’t go Chuck Norris on this one, so no more missle-armed motorcycles. Hell, no more motorcycles, period. If you’re going to do a “Delta Force” reboot in today’s world, you’ll have to do it along the lines of the recent “Act of Valor” — strong, violent, and as real as you can get — with honest to goodness actors. And yes, they should be real actors. The biggest problem with “Act of Valor” was its amateur cast. These are super badass guys, but man, some of those non-action scenes were unGodly painful to watch.

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About Nix

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Kajol

    Sarah Connor is the most interesting character of the Terminator Franchise. No wonder there was always a lot of focus on her and no wonder a John Connor movie failed on way too many levels.

  • jmarquez

    You didn’t include Top Gun, Robocop and TNMT because they are already being made, right?
    Omg, Delta Force, American Ninja…so many childhood memories coming back right now QQ

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      Correct.

  • Geniusbeing

    Bloodsport

  • LionHeart

    Punisher won’t likely happen, or at least not the way we want. Marvel got the rights back, which is great, but they’re not going to give out a dark, pushing-if-not-there R rating for the film, and thus Punisher gets toned down greatly.

    Spawn though…You have my axe.

    • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

      One day, before I die, I hope to god that I see a good Punisher movie.

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

        I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it — Person of Interest is the best Punisher fictional creation not called The Punisher. Finch = Microchip, Reese = Frank Castle. All they need is to slap a skull on Reese’s chest, and put Finch in a van.

        • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

          I need to get on that train.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            It’s rad, man, you need to watch it. Jesus is awesome in it. A gimpy Ben Linus, to boot.

        • LionHeart

          Evidently I need to be watching this.

        • schnydz

          Never thought of Person of Interest that way, but it makes sense. Awesome show. Coming season is going to be great. Plot is getting much thicker for sure.

    • Dr Zaius

      the Punisher needs to be set in the 80′s, Keep him a Nam vet. You can have loads of fun with ‘chip’ doing ‘amazing’ things with computers that we take for granted already today. And for christ sake NYC not Tampa!

    • Eustace Cromartie

      Marvel did the last one and it was gruesome and Rated R. it was not very good but it was a gruesome as it was suppose to be.

  • baddog

    Got them all on DVD, watched them all in the theatre. Brings back good memories.

  • Untitled Clint Howard Project

    The Japanese have kinda been rebooting Candyman for the past 15 years.

  • justjoe

    Ok list, but rebooting “Flash Gordon”, while totally changing the character and therefore it´s silly charme is kind of pointless. And the (old black and white) TV serial and later the movie nailed the source material.

  • Zeroshot

    So basically you want T3 again. fail. I would say yes to some but others a solid no.

    • Matt Khourie

      My thoughts exactly

  • Cee Jay

    1. THE PUNISHER – Great comic but as a film series there is only so many times people want to see one man taking on the Mafia out of revenge. Very limited worldwide audience appeal, better off being done as an HBO tv series.

    2. FLASH GORDON – Like John Carter this year, FG is classic scifi and should be allowed to stay that way. If todays audiences don’t like that then they should be more creative and make something they do like.

    3. THE LOST BOYS – This could be a very popular re-imagining considering the advance in SFX and current popularity of vampire romance.

    4. SPAWN – Zero appeal on nearly all factors, never got past being a fanboy creation of a very limited artist. Like Ghost Rider before it, audiences don’t relate to demonic powers for heroes, even cheesier when you put them in a ridiculously contrived costume!

    5. DELTA FORCE – Ha ha ha ha ha! Why bother? Cult movie for 80′s kids and will never arise above being a Z-list actor’s vehicle. These kind of propaganda crap has zero appeal outside brainwashed America.

    6. CANDYMAN – Concept was always ridiculous and served its purpose back in the 90′s as a splatter movie. This kind of thing simply has no place anymore aside of very small cult fans who still think watching an entire cast getting killed for lacking common sense, is great entertainment.

    7. PHANTASM – Again, why bother? The concept alone had nothing beyond a flying ball/swiss-army knife! They are doing better and more imaginative stuff on cable TV these days.

    8. SCANNERS – This is already being redone as a TV series. One of the few Cronenberg flicks that had real potential, a remake for the big screen could do well if they can do more with the plot.

    9. AMERICAN NINJA – Oh Please, this kind of stuff is retarded. The Boundaries and scope of modern martial arts movies have long moved beyond this kind of basic propaganda.

    10. THE TERMINATOR – Way too saturated, too many movies about the same thing happening again and again no matter how many times you stop it. Even a bloody TV show too! You really can’t reboot this thing since it never really went away and never seems to want to. 4 films by 4 different movie studios already and now a 5th by another new movie studio. Biggest whore in scifi award goes to this tired shit.

    America, the only country that has a film industry based on remakes and reboots, seriously time to grow up and learn how to leave things behind. Pointless having talented writers, directors and actors if you don’t give them the chance to show you what they can develop with their own creative juices.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      I have to agree with some of these unfortunately, no matter how much I love the property.
      Delta Force ould be Expendables basically. So we’ve got that, and hey, Chuck Norris is in E2! Phantasm I’d love to see be remade as Asylum pictures releases!!! Same for Scanners, but I had no clue about the show. That said i think a lot of these have potential.
      Candyman could easily be redone, and well. Nix’s suggestion of adding the internet to the equation works well, and would actually bring this into a Final Destination type thing, which is cool cause Candyman is in those. LoL.
      But seriously I Love the idea of a modern Lost Boys remake. Take it seriously, with dark humor, along the lines of the recent Fright Night remake. I do have to agree wtih both of you on Flash Gordon. I really think it needs to be a mix of the classic charm and modern setting. Imagine it set now, having him be a former football star, that joined the military for a stint but left after a brutal tour. Gets whisked away to some intense, crazy sci-fi adventure.
      As I mentioned American Ninja already had a spiritual sucessor in “Ninja.”
      Nix’s idea for the Punisher would be interesting. Though personally I think a tv series on HBO with that set up would work MUCH better than a film. Also I think it should be 50/50 split between Microchip, and Punisher. Where we spend as much time on Micro doing the research and the weapon work as we do on Frank taking out the bad guys.
      And Spawn, ah Spawn. Yeah you really need to read more of the comic cause it got a lot deeper than the first issues made it out to be. I had issues with it too at first but it got very good. The animated series was awesome and did a good job of telling the story.
      And Terminator, yeah definitely over saturated, but that’s because it’s a good story and people are still interested. I say screw Connors on the grid and lets get into the war we lost. I mean seriously, lets show the war. But also lets have it split between present and future. Lets tell a story where things are actually changing the future with events in the past(present)

    • Matt Khourie

      Agree with lots on your list, but think if they do a Lost Boys remake it should stay as far away from any teenage romance plot as possible, save for maybe making an awkward teenager blunder type seen in front of a girl he likes. I want absolutely no doting or pining.

  • Debo4735

    I think American Ninja was already done it’s called Ninja starring Scott Adkins. Also Person of Intrest is a really good show; by the way there’s a game comming out that follows the same premis as the show its called Watch Dogs. Everyone should check out the E3 trailer for the game on Youtubue…AWSOME!!!

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      Yeah I pretty much said the same thing when I saw “Ninja” and reviewed it right here on BH. LoL it was a great spiritual successor.